Best of Enemies: The Last Great Spy Story of the Cold War

Gus Russo and Eric Dezenhall. Twelve, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5387-6131-1
In this real-life thriller, Russo (Live by the Sword) and Dezenhall (Glass Jaw) recount the relationship between legendary CIA officer Jack Platt and KGB officer Gennady Semyovich Vasilenko, who remained loyal to their countries while forging a deep personal and professional connection. The authors base their story on extensive interviews with the two protagonists and others who served in the intelligence community, as well as unclassified information regarding CIA-KGB encounters during the Cold War. The two officers were at the center of many important Cold War intelligence confrontations, culminating in the CIA and FBI hunt for a mole who virtually destroyed American intelligence capacity in Russia. Platt was instrumental in the 2001 capture of Robert Hanssen, the most notorious internal spy in U.S. history, and Vasilenko was wrongfully imprisoned by the Russians as a result. Vasilenko’s imprisonment and torture highlights the brutality and corruption that makes the modern Russian judicial system a fitting heir to the Soviet gulag. In an ironic twist, Vasilenko—a KGB agent who had been loyal to the U.S.S.R. and Russia throughout his career—was traded to the U.S. in exchange for captured Russian spies in 2010. This is an informative and exciting history for the general reader and for the espionage expert alike. Agent: Kris Dahl, ICM, and Jeff Silberman, Folio Literary Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/02/2018
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